Rep. John Krisel’s “Still Standing” Captures 6th National Book Award



(Cottage Grove) - October has proven to be a big month for authors John Kriesel and Jim Kosmo and their book, “Still Standing: The Story of SSG John Kriesel.” Kriesel, a severely injured Iraq war veteran who was elected to the Minnesota Legislature in 2010 and writer Kosmo, former Bayport mayor, spent two years writing Kriesel’s inspiring story of overcoming extreme hardship.

In October “Still Standing” grabbed its sixth national book award, was featured in PGA Magazine, and leaped into the top 5 percent of Kindle eBook sales with 

The top selling book reveals the inspirational story of the Minnesota National Guard soldier from Cottage Grove who lost both legs and suffered numerous other serious injuries when his military Humvee was shredded by a 200 pound roadside bomb near Fallujah, Iraq on Dec. 2, 2006. Kriesel, who died three times on the operating table, wasn’t expected to survive. When he made it through hospitals in Iraq and Germany to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. doctors patched his broken body together but feared that he would never walk. Nine months and 35 surgeries later the determined soldier walked out of Walter Reed on two bionic legs.

Kriesel, who lost two close friends in the explosion, committed himself to honoring the memory of his fallen buddies by teaching people the lessons he learned on how to overcome adversity. He speaks frequently with special focus on young people.

“You are not going to hit a roadside bomb on the way home,” he asserts, “but bad things happen to everyone, and you need to know that you can deal with it.” Following a talk with Boy Scouts in Apple Valley Oct. 18, scout leader Rusty Kivett told Kriesel, “You kept grade school boys captivated for 30 minutes. We have a hard time holding their attention five minutes.”

“I just heard you speak at the Crystal Community Center and it was the most inspirational message I have ever heard,” said Erica Johnson of Home Instead Senior Care after hearing Kriesel and Kosmo Oct. 19. She scheduled them to appear at Minnetonka Community Center in May 2012.

In addition to working full time as a civilian marketing specialist with the Minnesota National Guard Kriesel is a frequent on-air guest at KFAN Sports Radio and serves in the Minnesota House of Representatives from District 57A (Cottage Grove, South St. Paul and Newport).


Kriesel met Kosmo when he spoke to a Boy Scout fundraiser in Stillwater in April 2008. Following the meeting Kosmo, a former newspaper editor, urged the wounded warrior to put his experience into writing, and he offered to help. The pair met frequently for two years before launching the print version of their book in July, 2010. They converted “Still Standing” into an eBook and released it in all eight digital formats in August 2011.

Print sales for “Still Standing” continue strong with a third printing scheduled in early 2012.  Sale of eBooks has exceeded projections, particularly in Amazon Kindle sales that have frequently been in the top 5 to 10% on Amazon’s daily sales reports.

Print versions of the book are available through major book stores and online. It also may be ordered online at the authors’ website  Signed and personalized copies are available by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In October “Still Standing” received its sixth national book award with the Silver Award from the Military Writers Society of America.  The book also has received book awards from Reader Views Literary Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards (two) and National Indie Excellence Book Awards (two).

Following extensive news media coverage in Minnesota, Kriesel and Kosmo have begun to receive national attention including several radio and television appearances and a feature article in PGA Magazine.

Currently, public presentations are focused close to home although the authors have made appearances in Nevada, California, Florida, Wisconsin and North Dakota. Their upcoming schedule includes the following appearances:

(Note: Some meetings require admission fees. For details on specific events please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Hutchinson Rotary (JIM)

Wednesday, Oct. 26 -- 12-Noon

McLeod County Museum

380 School Road, Hutchinson, MN



Monday, Oct. 31-- 12 Noon

Crowne Plaza Hotel

Brooklyn Park, MN


Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corp. Annual Dinner

Thursday, Nov. 3 --6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Jimmy's Conference Center, 3565 Labore Road, Vadnais Heights, MN


US Dept. of Agriculture (JIM)

Tuesday, Nov. 8 -- 11 a.m.



Minneapolis Community & Tech College

Tuesday, Nov. 8 -- 12-Noon

1501 Hennepin Ave. S.

Minneapolis, MN


Eagan Rotary (Jim)

Wednesday, Nov. 9 -- 12-Noon

Eagan Community Center

1401 Central Parkway, Eagan, MN


St. Ansgars Church & Other Locations TBA

Friday, Nov. 11 -- 9:30 a.m. - 12 Noon

Cannon Falls, MN


Rochester Rotary

Thursday, Nov. 17 -- 12-Noon

Kahler Hotel

Rochester, MN


Chanhassen Public Library

Saturday, Nov. 19 -- 1 p.m.

7711 Kerber Blvd., Chanhassen, MN


Minnesota Auto Dealers Association

Friday, Dec. 2 -- 12-Noon


34th Infantry Division Combat Aviation Ball

Saturday, Dec. 3 -- 5 p.m.

Treasure Island Resort & Casino

Red Wing, MN


Minnesota Counties Association

Monday, Dec. 5 -- 10 a.m.


No. Suburban Lions Club

Tuesday, Dec. 6 -- 6 p.m.

Gulden's Restaurant

2999 Highway 61 N, Maplewood, MN


Centennial United Methodist Men's Club (JIM)

Thursday, April 16, 2012--6:30 p.m.

Roseville, MN


JIM KOSMO, AUTHOR This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



RACHEL M. ANDERSON, PUBLICIST  (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

- end-